When Heineken, a global premium beer brand, teamed up with world famous and multiple awards winning DJ Armin van Buuren to promote its then newly ‘Dance More, Drink Slow’ campaign (a global message targeted at promoting responsible and moderate alcohol consumption) in 2014, the idea was received with mixed feelings. Not a few critics considered the campaign incongruous with the profit-making motive of a business organisation (the more the consumption, the higher the sales and the profit). The socially conscious viewed the campaign as a novelty with a high tendency to hold and sustain the consumer’s loyalty, reasoning that brands which care about well-being of their consumers stay at the heart of the consumers; and consequently, enjoy their patronage.
Heineken has since proved beyond any iota of doubt that deploying electronic dance music through the artistry and dexterity of renowned DJs has been one of the best things to happen to the nightlife. The campaign, premising on a succinct and simple message that nights are enjoyed more when you stay in control, has been adjudged a huge success in promoting positive drinking behaviour on and around the dance floor. The goal is to encourage clubbers to dance more and drink slow.
Like in other climes, the campaign birthed a new movement and attained its feverish peak in Nigeria with the Heineken Green Light Party. Several world famous DJs took rounds of trips to Nigeria, teamed up with their Nigerian counterparts and actively engaged in a series of clubbing events aimed at redefining and transforming nightlife in Lagos.
DJ Benny, the official DJ for Konvict music superstar Akon, set the ball rolling for the maiden edition of the Heineken Green Light Party at Club Escape, Victoria Island on Friday October 4, last year. Benny D, who was also an official DJ for American female rapper, Eve, as well as R & B group, TLC, gave good accounts of himself at Club Escape as he mixed high tempo songs of international acts to pleasure as clubbers, which kept them on their dancing feet for the better part of the night. It was a thrilling performance with an array of Nigerian celebrities present. Profiled as “the most innovative clubbing experience”, Heineken brought a refreshing perspective to nightlife in Lagos with successful hosting at Club Escape.
Two other electrifying shows would later follow suit in two other premium clubs in Lagos to cap an eventful 2014 for the Heineken brand.
DJs’ power to influence people’s behaviour, and ability to create fun all night was further accentuated with the second Heineken Green Light Party. Spice Route Night Club on Victoria Island was the next fun spot. Lagos clubbers seem to have an insatiable quest for fun and in DJ Babey Drew, Heineken found a pouch of fun so deep as to be seemingly bottomless. DJ Babey Drew, the official touring DJ for Grammy Award-winning R & B sensation, Chris Brown had expressed his excitement to perform in Nigeria again. “Last time I was in Lagos with Chris Brown, it was absolutely electrifying and I can’t wait to come back. Lagos better get ready to party hard,” Babey Drew had reportedly said. Babey Drew drove home the moderation message of ‘Dance More, Drink Slow’ with high altitude performance, spiced with brief shows from Nigerian artists, including 2face Idibia, Sound Sultan, DJ Exclusive, DJ Spinall, DJ Humility, Sasha P, Kaylah, among others.
Club Quilox came alive three weeks later when DJ Tim Westwood, arguably UK’s topmost DJ, flew in and allied with DJ Exclusive to add more glee to the already colourful Heineken Green Light party for the ‘Shut Down the City of Lagos’ party on 14th November, 2014.
Westwood showed his adept knowledge of Nigerian music as he perfectly blended his international flavour with Nigerian music contents. For about eight hours, clubbers were treated to non-top assorted international and indigenous vibes and hypes by the DJs. The likes of Alex Okosi, Sound Sultan, D’ Prince, Baba Dee and many other celebrities had a swell time all through the night. The wow moment of the night came with Kroyman robot’s performance. The 8-ft-11-inches built robot had more than a fair share as it stormed the dance hall with exhilarating robotic dance moves as clubbers looked on in awe.
Club Quilox was two-time lucky when it hosted again the first Heineken Green Light Party of 2015 on Sunday, April 5. On hand to do exciting justice to the club party experience were the duo of 4-time Grammy Award-winning DJ Black Chiney (who is Rihanna’s DJ) and DJ Snoop Da Damaja. Banky W, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Phyno, JJC Skillz, Sound Sultan, Uti Nwachukwu, Ill Rhymz, IK Ogbonna and BBA’s Melvin Oduah joined other clubbers, who were kept awake and dancing ll night to blend of international and local music.
Another attraction of the ‘Heineken Green Light’ club parties was the featuring of the limited edition of Heineken Smart bottle called ‘Ignite’. The bottle does not only interact with other bottles, but also its surroundings and people around it. ‘Heineken Ignite’ is a “new innovation from the brand that demonstrates its commitment to using pioneering technology and design to create inventive new ways to experience the product and the brand. The interactive bottle uses micro sensors and wireless networking technology to sense when people are clinking the bottles together to say “Cheers”. The bottle also reacts when a person takes a sip and actively responds to music.
With the help of eight bright LEDs, an 8-bit microprocessor and accelerometer, these motions trigger certain effects that light up the whole bottle, and when it is left idle, they fade away. The novelty bottle aims to differentiate Heineken while enhancing the overall experience, and it fits in nicely with the club culture it’s trying to reach,” obtained on Heineken website.
Conversations around Heineken Green Light hashtag (#HeinekenGreenLight) say much about the prevalence of the campaign on social media, and speak volume about eagerness of fun seekers in other Nigerian cities to see Heineken extend the fun to their cities.
‘Dance More, Drink Slow’ has been one experiment well carried out with incontrovertible evidence of success. Heineken Green Light parties have continued to save Lagos clubbers’ souls while the DJs have not deviated from saving their nights. Heineken has proven that DJs are promoters of a moderate drinking message, as the number of DJs joining the ‘Dance More, Drink Slow’ movement keeps rising.